Tommy Paul: Mentally, Novak Djokovic is the best in the game

Paul explains how big of a weapon Djokovic's mental game really is.

by Dzevad Mesic
Tommy Paul: Mentally, Novak Djokovic is the best in the game

Tommy Paul believes Novak Djokovic's mental game is giving the Serb an enormous edge in his matches. Paul, 25, made his first Grand Slam semifinal at this year's Australian Open. In his first Grand Slam semifinal, Paul also played against Djokovic for the first time.

Unfortunately for Paul, it didn't go well as Djokovic saw off the American 7-5 6-1 6-2. "I think mentally he's the best in the game. That's where you see the difference in those matches at least. I think that's where most of the difference was in that match.

Like you say, Oh, the only difference was mentality? Or like his mental game was better? But, like, that's big, you know. Like it was like 7-5, 6-1, 6-1(6-2) or something. It was all mental, I think. I mean, it's a pretty crazy level, definitely.

But I think he just handles every situation, every moment in massive matches so well. I mean, if I want to be where I want to be, I think or I know that's something I'm going to have to get a lot better at, and something I'm working on big time," Paul said, per Sportskeeda.

How Djokovic beat Paul?

Paul didn't start well his first Grand Slam semifinal as Djokovic claimed two early breaks to open a 5-1 lead. Down by a double break, Paul stunningly recovered as he responded with back-to-back breaks to tie the first set to five games apiece.

But just when it seemed Paul could pull off a stunning steal in the first set, the American got broken again in 12th game - the game in which he was serving to stay in the first set. After losing the first set in a devastating way, Paul also lost the first five games of the second set as Djokovic opened a comfortable two-set lead. In the third set, Djokovic broke Paul twice to complete a straight-set win.

Tommy Paul Novak Djokovic